More About the Author
Mrs. Emma Curtis Hopkins
Teacher of Teachers
September 2, 1849 - April 25, 1925
A Tribute - By her pupils, who owe her much, for the great spiritual illumination she awakened in them. Adapted from Class Lessons 1888 Introduction.
Like so many others among the teachers and students of the new spiritual teaching, she sought freedom from illness in Christian Science, then in its infancy. Emma Curtis Hopkins studied with Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy for two years. Then going out as an independent teacher, she taught in many cities - New York, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco, with large classes wherever she went.
Emma Curtis Hopkins had a broad education and was familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita and other sacred writings of India. She also studied the philosophy and mysteries of the Greeks, such as Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, and Plotinus. Having learned Greek at an early age, she read many of these in the original language. She had an exhaustive knowledge of the histories of all nations and peoples of all times. Her Biblical interpretations are masterpieces.
Returning to Chicago, she established a school for the teaching of the philosophy now called Spiritual Science, Divine Science, and New Thought.
In 1888, Mrs. Hopkins founded a seminary in Chicago, which she called: The Christian Science Theological Seminary. It was a regular incorporated school and the graduates were ordained ministers and so recognized by the State of Illinois. This school was not associated with Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. It was in operation until 1893.
Many movements, each having its own distinctive expression, sprang from its roots. To name a few: Unity School of Christianity, Home of Truth Movement, Divine Science, and Religious Science.
Among some 50,000 students taught by Emma Curtis Hopkins, the most famous are: Charles Fillmore, Myrtle Fillmore, Ernest Holmes, H. Emilie Cady, Lillian De Waters, Frances Foulks, H.B. Jeffery, Annie Rix Militz, Marie S. Watts.
In 1893 the class register numbered 350 names of people who had received the basic lessons, and an ordained ministry numbering 111 who had received the advanced Theological Course.
Mrs. Hopkins was herself a genuine mystic and in all her teachings emphasized the mystic experience. Mysticism is the most difficult of all metaphysical themes, for it involves an experience rarely realized and never adequately expressed in words - the realization of identity with the Absolute Being, or the here and now experience of union with God. Mrs. Hopkins taught that the first step in developing the consciousness of the mystic was turning the attention away from all things, events, and persons toward the Deity ever beholding us.
It is said that the glory of her teaching is that it arouses the hidden creative genius in the students. This is how they went forth inspired to accomplished some great work of a unique and inimitable sort, by the recognition of their own inherent divinity. To awaken this Divine Sense in her readers is the chief aim of the writings, which she has left with us.
None of Emma Curtis Hopkins' students ever studied with her, for she offered no debate. What she said was it and that was that. But she empowered it with something alive, animated and inspiring. Thus, the value of her teaching was that she imparted spiritual conviction in such a way as to awaken a corresponding consciousness in her students, which she knew was already there, merely awaiting such arousal.
During the last days of her life she lived in New York City and taught only privately. It is estimated that during her active lifetime as many as fifty thousand persons came to her for instruction, either in class or privately. She made her transition on April 25, 1925 at the age of seventy-one.